Science 15 Jan 2016 New mechanism can pl ...

New mechanism can play memories in fast forward

Published Jan 15, 2016, 4:07 pm IST
Updated Jan 16, 2016, 12:06 pm IST
(Photo: Pixabay)
 (Photo: Pixabay)

Washington: A new study has discovered a mechanism that could now explain the process by which the brain can recall nearly all that happened in the past.

University of Texas at Austin researchers has found a newly discovered mechanism, which compresses information needed for memory retrieval, imagination or planning and encodes it on a brain wave frequency that is separate from the one used for recording real-time experiences.

Laura Colgin, an assistant professor of neuroscience and Chenguang Zheng, a post-doctoral researcher have found that brain cells share different kinds of information with one another using a variety of different brain waves, analogous to the way radio stations broadcast on different frequencies.

The study explains that in the brain, fast gamma rhythms encode memories about things that are happening right now and these waves come rapidly one after another as the brain processes high-resolution information in real time.

The scientists learned that slow gamma rhythms used to retrieve memories of the past, as well as imagine and plan for the future store more information on their longer waves, contributing to the fast-forward effect as the mind processes many data points with each wave.

The study is published in the journal of Neuron.

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